ALEXANDIA —Holden didn’t control the tempo and made just 33.3 percent of its shots from the field. The Rockets trailed most of the game.
But all it took was one final shot. Jayee Hughes drove the baseline and banked in a layup with 4.3 seconds remaining to give top-seeded Holden a 40-39 victory over Anacoco in the Class B title game.
“As I was standing on the baseline I could see a straight shot to the goal,” Hughes said. “Everybody was defending other people, and I just figured, why not be the one to do it. I didn’t think it went in. I was laying on the ground and saw it going through the net.”
The win Saturday at the LHSAA girls basketball tournament gave the Rockets (35-1) their second title in three years and sixth overall. It is the fifth title for Holden coach Pam Forbes.
Hughes scored a game-high 17 points on 6 of 14 shooting and was voted title-game MVP in the game at the Rapides Parish Coliseum. She was Holden's only double-figures scorer.
“I don’t know how, but we got some sunshine there at the end,” said Forbes as she described the game. “I want to say that I’m so proud of these girls. … I’m very pleased with them. Today wasn’t a beautiful game. We wanted a 70-point game, and they wanted a 40-point game. They controlled every stat.”
The fourth-seeded Indians (36-5) got a timeout with 3.0 seconds left. The Rockets pressured the inbounds pass and Anacoco could not get off a successful shot. Ashlynn Chaney (14 points) and Korie Kreps (11) led AHS.
“I felt it would probably come down to one possession, and it did,” Anacoco coach Tim Parker said. “They played extremely hard as did we. In a game like that … who can know how it is going to turn out? It turned out the way it did, unfortunately, for us.”
Parker’s defense disrupted Holden's rhythm by focusing on guards Kaylee Hughes and KK Kropog. Anacoco led nearly the entire first quarter. Kaylee Hughes scooped up a rebound and scored to make it 11-all with 41.3 seconds remaining.
Back-to-back baskets by Taylor Forbes gave Holden its first lead early in the second quarter. A 7-0 run put Anacoco back in front. A 3-pointer by Ellie McDonald gave the Indians an 18-16 lead with 2:21 to go in the half. Emma Hutchinson’s jumper from the right baseline gave Holden a 19-18 lead less than a minute before halftime. The Indians led 20-19 at halftime thanks to a basket by Kreps with 19 seconds remaining.
Anacoco extended its lead to five points in the third and fourth quarters. Kropog scored on a layup and made a free throw with 2:20 to go in third quarter to give Holden a brief 32-30 lead.
Jaycee Hughes scored the final six points for Holden. She got the Rockets within one with a bucket and a free throw with 1:44 remaining.